Summary: This sermon deals with the Man Nicodemus as he came to Christ, and Jesus pointing him to a future time three and a half years later when he would see Jesus hanging on a cross.
“A SEEKER MEETS THE SAVIOUR”
(Sermon #7 in 2021 series on Gospel of John)
John 3: 1-21
Greenmount and O’Leary Churches of Christ
February 28, 2021
Video Link: https://youtu.be/vJW8x6WRn1A
1.) Among the phrases we so often hear in the church today are the words: “Seeker”, Seeker Friendly”, and “Seeker-Friendly Church”.
A.) To be honest, I have very mixed feelings on these terms, and on churches that aim in that direction.
B.) I have not seen lineups of the lost seeking Christ anymore in seeker-friendly than in other more traditional churches.
bb.) Realistically, I have observed the lost striving to fill what only Christ can satisfy with anything but Jesus Christ.
bba.) It can be money, power, sensuality, education, or other things but most people usually do not actually seek Christ.
2.) Having said these things I believe that once in awhile, there are some who look for Christ.
A.) In John 3 we meet a man who was truly seeking Christ.
I. A SEEKER COMES TO CHRIST. (3:1-2)
1.) The Seeker we are introduced to is Nicodemus (3:1a.)
A.) Nicodemus was a pharisee. (3:1b.)
aa.) In Scripture the Pharisees do not always come across in a positive light.
ab.) Many of the Pharisees caused problems for Jesus, but they were also the conservatives of the Jewish faith.
aba.) Many were rigid and calloused, but some of these men were men of faith true to God and His Word.
abb.) We are not told much about Nicodemus, but the little we are given indicates he was a man with a good heart seeking the truth.
B.) Nicodemus was one of the Jewish ruling council. (3:1c.)
ba.) This council of Sanhedrin consisted of Pharisees, and Sadducees led by the High Priest.
bc.) While this is a Jewish institution, the Elders of the Church, with the Chairman of the board would be similar today.
bd.) Having said this there would still be differences as these men would have had greater power than most elders today and were a larger group of seventy men.
2.) Nicodemus came to Jesus at night. (3:2a.)
A.) Some question why Nicodemus came to Jesus at night, but the Bible does not give the reason.
B.) I might speculate things such as:
ba.) He wanted private personal time with Jesus.
bb.) He may have wanted to honestly question Jesus on matters of faith.
bc.) He may have wanted time without the hypocrisy of other Pharisees and Sadducees who were against Jesus.
bca.) Again, Scripture does not say, these are only my speculations on his reasons.
3.) Nicodemus recognized the greatness of Jesus. (3:2b.)
A.) “Rabbi” (3:2b.)
aa.) Nicodemus addressed Jesus with the greatest of respect by calling him “Rabbi.”
aaa.) Some of the religious leaders would not have shown him such respect.
aab.) On one occasion Jesus was invited to the home of a Pharisee named Simon. (Luke 7:36-50)
.01) Jesus was the invited guest yet he was treated with contempt, and not even shown the normal social courtesies you would show to a guest.
.011) The heart of Nicodemus was different than that of Simon.
B.) “We know you are a teacher who has come from God.” (3:2c.)
ba.) These words compliment Jesus and acknowledge that he is from God.
bb.) These are also some of the most damning words on many of the Jewish leaders.
bba.) Nicodemus confesses that the Jewish leaders know that Jesus was from God.
bbb.) They know Jesus from the miracles Jesus performed.
.01) “For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.” (3:2d.)
.02) One can only imagine God’s wrath towards spiritual leaders who knew Jesus came from God, and yet persecuted Him, even hanging him on a cross.
.021) I would certainly not want to stand up on the day of Judgment to answer for what they had done to Jesus with the full knowledge that he was the Christ, the Son of God.
II. A SEEKER NEEDS TO BE BORN AGAIN. (3:3-12)
1.) Jesus Cut to the chase and went to the heart of this man’s spiritual need.
A.) John 3:3
B.) To be part of the Kingdom of God, you must be born again.
ba.) As a Physical birth is necessary to enter this world, so also a spiritual rebirth was necessary to be born from above.
C.) Nicodemus has no understanding of what Jesus is speaking.
2.) Jesus is using a physical term to speak of a spiritual truth.
A.) In the book of John many who heard the teachings of Jesus could not make the connection from the physical to the spiritual.
aa.) Certainly, this was the case that night with Nicodemus.
aaa.) John 3:4
B.) Jesus repeats his challenge, this time adding that this new birth from above would come about through the Holy Spirit of God.